Event Title

Analysis of Rachmaninoff’s String Quartets and its Application to Reconstruction

Session Number

M02

Advisor(s)

Peter Dong, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Location

B-101

Start Date

28-4-2016 1:35 PM

End Date

28-4-2016 2:00 PM

Disciplines

Fine Arts

Abstract

Sergei Rachmaninoff is considered by many to have been the last great Romantic era composer. His works are characterized by virtuosity, the use and recurrence of motive thematic material, and sweeping melodies. Early in his career, Rachmaninoff composed two string quartets but never finished either; this study sought to reconstruct the second of these by composing its third movement based on thematic and harmonic material in the existing movements. String Quartet No. 1, Movement 3 and String Quartet No. 2, Movements 1 and 2 were analyzed thematically and harmonically in order to understand the structure and harmonic patterns. These analyses revealed a tendency to chromatic motion, linking themes and even movements with motives, and changing keys by sequencing. Through the composition of the third movement of the second string quartet, these methods proved effective in comprising one valid approach to reconstructing Rachmaninoff’s work, providing insight to the defining qualities of Romantic style music.


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Apr 28th, 1:35 PM Apr 28th, 2:00 PM

Analysis of Rachmaninoff’s String Quartets and its Application to Reconstruction

B-101

Sergei Rachmaninoff is considered by many to have been the last great Romantic era composer. His works are characterized by virtuosity, the use and recurrence of motive thematic material, and sweeping melodies. Early in his career, Rachmaninoff composed two string quartets but never finished either; this study sought to reconstruct the second of these by composing its third movement based on thematic and harmonic material in the existing movements. String Quartet No. 1, Movement 3 and String Quartet No. 2, Movements 1 and 2 were analyzed thematically and harmonically in order to understand the structure and harmonic patterns. These analyses revealed a tendency to chromatic motion, linking themes and even movements with motives, and changing keys by sequencing. Through the composition of the third movement of the second string quartet, these methods proved effective in comprising one valid approach to reconstructing Rachmaninoff’s work, providing insight to the defining qualities of Romantic style music.